Since 2014, 25 physicians have completed the KMA Community Connector Leadership Program, designed to give physicians an opportunity to enhance their leadership skills through education and direct community involvement.
Fred Williams, M.D., of Louisville, was the 2013-14 KMA president when the program was launched.
“The concept is to get docs and people in the community together,” Dr. Williams said. “It’s basically a framework for people to get together. It’s also a way to provide opportunities for physicians to help communities. Once physicians interact one on one with people, it changes a lot of perceptions of the whole medical profession.”
Dr. Williams was a member of the first class to complete the program in 2014.
Other physicians have lauded the benefits of becoming a KMA Community Connector.
“It helps you remember you’re a leader,” said Evelyn Jones, M.D., a Paducah dermatologist who completed the program in 2016.
The program, which stresses community as well as medical leadership in its requirements, prompts participants to find outlets in their communities where they can make a difference, Dr. Jones said. She believes that can make a difference in a physician’s outlook on the profession.
“It’s easy to lose the passion of why we enjoy medicine,” Dr. Jones said. Being reminded of their role as a leader, she said, “changes your mindset a little bit. Giving is where you really get such fulfillment and joy.”
John Patterson, M.D., a Lexington family physician, said the program stresses the ideals by which he has long lived and offers an opportunity to bond with colleagues who had been doing similar things.
Danesh Mazloomdoost, M.D., a Lexington pain management specialist, said the program gave him focus.
“I think in medicine, we’ve gotten so busy and so overwhelmed with things that are not value-added components of health care,” he said. “It does take a conscious effort to reconnect with the things that matter to health care.”
Becoming a Community Connector in 2014, he said, helped him do just that. Beyond the educational aspect of the program, he said, “the biggest aspect is connecting with other physicians who are passionate about something they want to change.”
The program, said Don Swikert, M.D., a family physician in Florence, would be especially beneficial to young physicians early in their career.
“The real value,” he said, “would come for younger physicians. It’s a way to really develop (leadership) skills.”
Community Connectors are physicians who are engaged in their communities and the practice of medicine in Kentucky by working with business, government and civic leaders. Here’s how you can become a KMA Community Connector:
- Become an active member of the Kentucky Medical Association. To renew your membership, click here.
- Complete a 15-minute informational webinar.
- Serve in a leadership role within medicine. This can include a leadership position in an organized medical society, organized medical staff, group practice or public health department.
- Serve in a leadership role in the community at large. This can include a leadership position in a civic, religious or political group.
- Participate in a public education activity designed to improve public health or educate the public on health issues.
- Attend and complete the KMA Leadership Academy, which will equip you with the tools you need to become an effective leader within your profession and community.
In addition to being recognized as a Community Connector, with a special presentation during the KMA Annual Meeting, participants will also have the opportunity to direct a $100 donation to the local charity or organization of their choice.
Contact Laura Hartz at firstname.lastname@example.org or 502-814-1386 about your intent to participate. KMA staff will contact participants about important dates and program information.